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I had been in Asia just over two months--something like ten weeks, or if you’re counting days, about seventy days. Of course, if you’re counting meals, like I was, think about two hundred and ten. Add iodine-purified water, a permanent layer of dust on my tongue, and let's just say I couldn't always hold down what I did eat. Food was becoming my meaning, my passion, my existence. I dreamt up meals in my head: leafy salads, steak, anything without rice and noodles. Sure, rice and noodles are great, but try them for seventy days, three meals a day--try anything for that long. I wanted food from home. Besides, just before coming to Asia, I'd spent six months in Africa eating things that were beige, bland, and beaten. Oh yes, Asian food had sounded exotic and adventurous, but at this point given a choice between a baked potato and the Great Wall of China...Pass the sour cream.